Social media users in developed markets give thumbs down to brands online says new TNS report

Businesses are wasting time and money trying to reach people online without realising many resent big brands invading their social networks according to findings from a global study launched today by WPP-owned research company TNS.

The findings come from TNS’s Digital Life study into how 72,000 consumers in 60 countries behave online and why they do what they do.

The race online has seen businesses across the world develop profiles on social networks, such as Facebook or YouTube, to speak to customers quickly and cheaply but TNS’s research reveals that if these efforts are not carefully targeted, they are wasted on half of customers.

It found that 57 per cent of people in developed markets such as the US, UK and Western Europe do not want to engage with brands via social media – rising to 60 per cent in the US and 61 per cent in the UK. Instead, misguided digital strategies are generating mountains of digital waste, from friendless Facebook accounts to blogs no one reads. This is being combined with ever-increasing content produced by consumers – the study shows 47 per cent of digital consumers now comment about brands online.

The result is huge volumes of noise, which is polluting the digital world and making it harder for brands to be heard – presenting a major challenge for businesses trying to enter into dialogue with consumers online.

“Winning and keeping customers is harder than ever,” said Matthew Froggatt, Chief Development Officer of TNS. “The online world undoubtedly presents massive opportunities for brands, however it is only through deploying precisely tailored marketing strategies that they will be able to realise this potential. Choosing the wrong channel, or simply adding to the cacophony of online noise, risks alienating potential customers and impacting business growth.”

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